This bill would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and allow married same-sex couples the same federal rights as all other married couples. This is a big deal. Here’s a fact sheet about it. (.pdf) Right now, it only has 91 cosponsors (out of 435 representatives) so drumming up support is important!
I respectfully urge you to support the just-introduced Respect for Marriage Act of 2009. This act will repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and restore the “Full Faith and Credit” clause of the US Constitution to allow states to determine who is married, not the federal government.
Right now, 5 states allow same-sex couples to marry (see http://gregstoll.dyndns.org/marriagemap/ for a detailed breakdown), and in 3 of these states the couples were given this right through a legislative process. However, married same-sex couples in these states don’t have the rights under federal law that other married couples do, such as Social Security survivor benefits, Family Medical Leave protections, and fair federal taxation.
As you probably know, Texas currently does not allow same-sex couples to marry (indeed, it is forbidden in the state constitution), and this bill would not change that. It would just give the same-sex couples that are married in states that have chosen to allow it the same rights as any other married couples. Marriage laws have always been left up to this states, and this would restore this practice as the Constitution intended.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to hearing from you.
(a little tailored for Texas, obviously – change that part if you use it and you’re not from here!)
President Obama supports repealing DOMA but it’s going to be hard to get it through the House and Senate, and he’s not investing any political capital in doing so. If you support repealing DOMA, please take a few minutes and write your representatives!